Is AI the future of NPCs?

Bloom, a non-player character with a face like a potato and a black beanie on his ears, wanted to know my strategies and how I performed in combat. “I follow the map and punch hard,” I answered into the microphone. The text of our conversation flashed across the bottom of my screen. National People’s Congress Think I’m bragging.He goes on and on about our place in the resistance and how we need to fight back, his AI.The drive is tinny enough to sound mechanical, but not harsh.

Bloom didn’t tell me, at least not directly, that he was a “new NPC”—a generative artificial intelligence creation from a French video game publisher. Ubisoft Designed to allow players to have conversations with characters. Bloom is still in development, but his creation represents one of many ways game companies are looking to integrate machine learning into their products.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Bloom at the Game Developers Conference last week, and the AI ​​craze in the industry is in full swing.In addition to Ubisoft’s demo, there are also presentations from Robot Basketball Player arrive”transformative applications” of artificial intelligence.But there are also talks From the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) about deepfakes and the impact artificial intelligence may have on the careers of game makers.Ahead of the event, a poll conducted by GDC organizers found that 49% of developers surveyed thought is using However, four out of five developers surveyed said they were concerned about the ethics of doing so.

During these discussions, the idea of ​​using AI for NPCs surfaced. In addition to Ubisoft’s demo, Nvidia (the company behind many GPUs) Providing much of the power for the artificial intelligence revolution— brandishing a set of tools that enable “developers to Constructing digital humans Capable of artificial intelligence-driven natural language interaction. ” The company demonstrated these tools by releasing a video secret agreementa technology demo it produced with artificial intelligence character company Inworld.

Ubisoft showed off its Neo NPC, also uses Nvidia technology, in three ways. First, I talked to Bloom to achieve some of the game-given goals: get close to Bloom, learn about the giant corporations that rule the world, learn about the resistance, etc. Bloom had no problem asking him questions, and he generally had a great personality. good. Ubisoft senior data scientist Mélanie López Malet told me that he was designed to be easy to deal with, while other NPCs they created were more aloof, if not more so. She explained that the team decided to add objectives to his interactions because of early testing at the company. , they discovered that players could be a little… shy.

“Some people have a little bit of social anxiety,” Mallette said. They don’t want to disturb NPCs who look busy, or they’re surprised by characters who look angry. They don’t always know what to say. “[Players] “I feel like I’m at a party with no one I know, oh my god,” Mallette said. But she thinks that’s a good thing: It means NPCs are inspiring people to tap into their social instincts. Players are also more likely to open up and get personal when engaging in text messaging conversations. “There are some things you just can’t say out loud, you know?” Mallette said.

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